Category: books


Blogging for Books: The 13th Gift


I requested this book, the 13th gift by Joanne Huist Smith, nearly a year ago. Right after the holidays. And after all the planning and gift wrap and sequins and bows I really had no interest in reading a book about Christmas. Yet here we are, in early November and I’m starting to plan Thanksgiving and Christmas (I know, I’m one of those.) I figured it was a great time to set the tone and start thinking about the holiday season!

The 13th gift is a memoir, “A True Story of a Christmas Miracle,” of a family in the wake of the father’s unexpected passing. The author doesn’t go into the details of his death, other than he had a heart condition and passed in his sleep, but rather the book is about how a stranger’s unexpected kindness, in daily gifts, brings the family back together.

At the beginning of the book, Joanne and her three kids are falling apart. School is skipped, meals are not made, emotions are raw. But 12 days before Christmas they receive a gift on their front step. Each day another gift appears. At first Joanne does not like the gifts, but after a few days the gifts bring the family back together until the family realizes that even though they lost a husband/father, there are still people that love them and are looking out for them.

By the time Christmas day arrives, the family has put together a holiday to remember. And by the time I finished the book, I was in the holiday spirit. I’m making lists and planning meals (because yes, I’m one of those.) Joanne and her family lost an integral part of their family that year, but with the help of strangers, and loved ones, they were able to find themselves and each other.

If you’d like to read it, leave a comment and I’ll share it with a lucky reader. I can’t be the only one starting my holiday shopping already. 



Friday5: Grateful

March is here, can you believe it? I love March. Three years ago we welcomed a very special bundle into our lives at the end of March. So for the past few years March has been a month of planning. First planning for our beautiful baby, and the last three years planning for a beautiful birthday. This year she’s having two parties, one with family and one with friends. Both will be great. She’s looking forward to the two cakes. So am I.

All that said, it’s Friday and I’m grateful. So grateful. Here’s my top 5:

I’m grateful for….

1. My perfect little family of husband, daughter and dog
2. My mind, that lets me write and create everyday
3. My body, which lets me skate and run and jump and tickle
4. My friends, without them I don’t know where I’d be
5. Chocolate

Should I go on? Because I could… for days.

What are you grateful for?

And speaking of friends, go check out Jen’s blog, she’s in a book (A real book, hardcover, even) and she’s giving one away. WooHoo!


What I’m Reading…

I started reading again over the holiday break. I’ve always read a lot, but after Daughter was born I just didn’t have the time. I got a lot pickier about what I read and focused a lot more on Memoir/Creative Non-Fiction. Right before the holidays I was at dinner with my Sister-in-Law and Cousin-in-Law and told them I was looking for a good book for over break. They both suggested The Hunger Games. I had never heard of it. But when we wandered over to the book store they found it and I decided to go with it. Three days later I finished it. And last night I finished the second book in the series. Tonight I’m starting the third. The series is actually categorized as teen science fiction, and totally not my thing, but it’s really very good. And now my 11-year old nephew and I have something else to talk about!

And a few more books on my list, clearly more of the Creative Non-Fiction that I love.

• Intern, by Sandeep Jauhar
• Hypocrite in a Poufy White Dress, by Susan Jane Gilman
• Of Time and Memory, by  Don Snyder
• Casting with a Fragile Thread, by Wendy Kann
• Who do you think you are?, by Alyse Myers 

So, just a few. Can’t wait to curl up with my tea and start reading!